On Monday, June 16th the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners held their regular meeting at City Hall. We had the pleasure of meeting LAFD Captain John Ignatczyk the new commander of the department’s Disaster Preparedness Division. He spoke about the Division’s responsibilities and his desire to cooperate with neighborhood councils. He responded to questions from the commissioners and told us that he welcomed future contacts.

General Manager Grayce Liu reported about the new checking accounts approved by the City Council. She said that they were trying to activate a few of the accounts prior to the end of the fiscal year to see how well they work. She acknowledged that some adjustments may be made as we gain experience with this new system.

We moved on to the business part of the agenda by approving a board change for Empowerment Congress North Area Neighborhood Development Council. A majority of the commissioners agreed that the new board structure and somewhat smaller quorum requirement should help them function more efficiently.

Commissioner Atkinson reported that she was finalizing information from other commissioner’s recommendations for members of the outreach committee proposed at the Commission’s retreat in January.. She also briefly discussed the Empowerment LA awards. The deadline for submitting nominations is July 16. Nomination forms can be found “here.”

Commissioner Shaffer brought some clarifying amendments to our new posting policy proposed by Commissioners Grant and Medina to the Commission’s attention. It was agreed that the matter would be put on a future agenda for formal action.

The newest member of the Commission, Eli Lipman had been tasked by the Commission President to present some ideas on how the Commission might evaluate its activities during this current year. He presented us with a well thought out plan for how we could determine both our goals and our progress in reaching them. He will continue to refine the list of metrics with the idea of helping the Commission plan for the future.

We then moved into our Town Hall discussion of the Commission’s proposed Training Policies. Comments from neighborhood council members present at the meeting included: concerns that this policy could be used by a small faction to harass others; that it should be part of the new grievance procedures; the entire thing should be left to the Department; there should be training with consequences for failing to participate and the entire problem could be solved by better training of the Chairs.

The Commission discussed some of the ideas that had been advanced by those NC members in attendance, especially appreciated was the idea of mediation being part of the process. Deputy City Attorney Carmen Hawkins advised the commissioners of her office’s alternate dispute resolution team. The commissioners are looking forward to a few more of the town hall style meetings in order to receive as much input as possible from the NC members and stakeholders. Our next Town Hall meeting will be on July 1st in Mar Vista. We look forward to hearing from many of you at the meeting. As always, if you want to comment on one of our agenda items but can’t attend the meeting, send an email with your comments to janet.lindo@LACity.org. She will make sure that we all get a copy.